Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
Cupid Mistaken
By Matthew Prior (1664–1721)
AS after noon, one summer’s day,
  Venus stood bathing in a river;
Cupid a-shooting went that way,
  New-strung his bow, new-filled his quiver.
With skill he chose his sharpest dart:        5
  With all his might his bow he drew:
Swift to his beauteous parent’s heart
  The too-well-guided arrow flew.
I faint! I die! the goddess cried;
  O cruel, could’st thou find none other        10
To wreck thy spleen on? Parricide!
  Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother.
Poor Cupid sobbing scarce could speak;
  Indeed, mamma, I did not know ye:
Alas! how easy my mistake!        15
  I took you for your likeness, Chloe.

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